Back-to-back Wins – Rothley Law Secures Two Court Judgments

Monday, 15th April 2024

Contact: Andrew Bishop – 07740173035

Our specialist Disputed Wills and Trusts team acted for two Claimants in separate trials which took place in February this year.

Langley v Qin & Shi.

In the first trial, we acted for Jill Langley in Langley v Qin & Shi. Mrs Langley was the daughter of Mr Harrington (the Deceased). The case is a rare example of a probate claim succeeding, and the court declaring a Will invalid.

During the trial, Jill Langley sought findings that Ms Qin (the spouse of Mr Harrington) had unduly influenced the creation of the Will, that there was a predatory marriage, that Mr Harrington did not have testamentary capacity, and lacked knowledge and approval of the Will. The case received significant media attention during Trial, and the court in the judgment handed down on Friday 12 April made findings that the Will was invalid on all substantive grounds sought by Mrs Langley.

The Court also found a ‘significant element of impropriety’ in respect of Ms Qin’s access to Mr Harrington’s bank accounts, including a subsequent attempt to hide those transfers from HMRC. This excited the suspicions of the Court. The Court did not find that Mr Harrington had read the draft will given to him and could not rely on attendance notes in the absence of oral evidence from the solicitors who drafted the will.

Andrew Bishop, Caoimhe Turner, Jonathan Hare and Rachel Butterfield acted for the Claimant along with Barrister James McKean of New Square Chambers.

Client Jill Langley commented:

I was referred to Andrew Bishop of Rothley Law via another solicitor as Andrew specialises in predatory marriage…during the time it took from referral to The High Court in London I have found Andrew Bishop and his associate Caoimhe Turner first class. They have guided me, and we worked as a team together to bring my case to a successful conclusion. They were with me every step of the way in a daunting, difficult case. I recommend their professional approach and I would not have succeeded without them.”

The Times – £1m estate left to predatory wife

Telegraph – Millionaire cut daughter out of will after his carer coerced him into predatory marriage

The Mirror – Legal battle over millionaire butcher’s millions after 94-year-old married his carer

Kettridge v Adams

In the second trial, our team acted for Andrew Kettridge in Kettridge v Adams – a strongly contested Inheritance Act claim. The trial look place in the Birmingham High Court over five days. Our team secured financial provision for Andrew Kettridge (the fiancé and dependant of Ms Adams (the Deceased). We also obtained a court order which dismissed allegations of financial abuse.

Andrew Bishop, Joe Myhill, and Rachel Butterfield acted for the Claimant with Barrister Dr Sarah Egan of New Square Chambers. The judgment gives significant commentary on the requirements to qualify under the Inheritance Act, including the meaning of the two-year period required to qualify as cohabitee and the test to be applied to determine if a claimant was a dependant.

Client Andrew Kettridge commented:

Andrew Bishop and his team…are meticulous in their work and research in helping me get the truth told and the right outcome for myself. I cannot thank them enough for the help and amount of effort they put into my case. I would recommend them to anybody. Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.” – Andrew Kettridge

Rothley Law is also supporting Parliament in seeking reform over predatory marriage. In Langley v Qin & Shi, allegations of predatory marriage were made, and the Court made findings that Mr Harrington’s spouse had unduly influenced her husband to make a Will.

The marriage (which took place relatively close to death) still revoked Mr Harrington’s previous and longstanding Will made when he had capacity, meaning that the outcome of the Trial was that Mr Harrington would still be classified as intestate on death. Following judgment, Fabian Hamilton MP commented:

I am working hard with the support of Rothley Law to reform the law of marriage and probate in order to safeguard the vulnerable in society. This case demonstrates the devastating effects that a predatory marriage can have on testamentary affairs. As part of our campaign, we believe the Law needs to be reformed so that marriage no longer revokes a Will and therefore removes any incentive to use marriage for financial gain.”


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